Cockapoos are renowned for being extremely clever dogs – mainly, because they are half poodle, which is a breed known for being considered the second most intelligent of all the dog breeds. As a result, they need lots of stimulation to stop them going bored. This includes making sure that they have lots of amazing toys to play with!
Why puzzle toys are the best toys for you cockapoo
Cockapoos love to play with puzzle toys, and they are especially important for cockapoos because they do two things:
- They stop your dog from getting an “instant” food reward
- They bring the focus of the reward away from their owner
Stopping your cockapoo from getting an instant food reward when they interact with a toy is a really good thing. This is because they have to do something called “earning to eat.”
Earning to eat means that dogs have to perform a task in order to get what they want. It’s the same process they perform when you’re training them to sit or play dead. Over time, though, as owners and dogs get used to each other, “earning to eat” gets less and less.
Sometimes, this can mean that dogs get a little bit lazy, which can mean they become less responsive to commands.
Puzzle toys help to reinforce the earning to eat principle with your pooch, helping to keep them responsive and alert whenever there’s a reward to be had!
By bringing the focus of the reward away for an owner, puzzle toys can also help to train your pooch to understand that good things can happen even when the owner isn’t directly interacting with them. This helps dogs to become a little more independent, and a little less needy.
For this reason, we recommend puzzle toys for dealing with separation anxiety.
Please understand, though, that you should always supervise your cockapoo when they’re playing with puzzle toys with removable parts. You don’t want to end up in the emergency room at the vets!
Below are a selection of the best puzzle toys for cockapoos that we could find on Etsy and Amazon.
1. Trickiest puzzle toy for cockapoos
Brain game from AJwoodworkStore
This is a beautifully made, interactive wooden puzzle toy. We love it because you can order it in two difficulty modes if you have an especially clever cockapoo! It is made completely from wood, so it’s not yet another plastic dog toy; however, because it has moving parts be sure to never leave your pooch alone with this one.
For this puzzle toy, you have to plug treats into the wooden holders, slide them into their slots and watch as your pooch tries to move them with his nose! Adorable!
All of the reviews for this brain training toy are extremely positive, and what’s nice to see is that none of the reviewers say that their dog cracked this puzzle too quickly!
You can buy wooden puzzle toy on Etsy.
2. Most creative puzzle toy for cockapoos
Rainbow Snuffleball from EmilysCanineCrew
Ok, so snuffle mats are fast becoming a super “hot” toy for dogs right now. This is because they help to exercise dogs noses and give them a really good workout. Cockapoos will absolutely love any snuffle mat, but if you look for them on Amazon, they all seem to be a little bit “samey”.
This snuffle ball is a really nice twist on the snuffle mat. It is made from anti-pil pet safe fleece, and it is sure to keep your cockapoo mentally stimulated and out of trouble for ages!
Essentially, for this puzzle toy, all you need to do is stuff it full of treats – or even your dog’s normal food – and watch as they roll it around to release the treats. It’s not only a great brain trainer for your cockapoo, but also a brilliant way to get them to eat a little slower if they tend to gobble up their food a little too quickly!
You can buy this rainbow snuffle ball on Etsy.
3. Best replay value puzzle toy
Tornado Toy from Nina Ottosson
So this is a puzzle toy that we’ve recommended plenty of times on this site. It is definitely our “go to” toy for Ziggy.
Essentially, this toy is made of three trays that hold treats and a lid. It uses a simple “swivel” mechanism to close and open and your dog has to poke it around to try and get at the trays – the only problem is that by opening one layer, another one will close!
Why has this got the best replay value? Well, because even though our cockapoo manages to solve this one pretty quickly, he never seems to get bored of it! We’ve been using ours on-and-off for years now and he’s always ready with his tail wagging when we get it from his drawer (is it odd he has his own drawer??).
You can get this wonderful tornado toy from Amazon.
4. Best hi-tec puzzle toy
Trixie Dog Activity Memory Trainer Strategy Game from Trixie Dog
This memory training puzzle toy even blows our minds. It is a really simple, but extremely well executed idea.
Basically, it comes in two parts: a food dispenser, and a button that dispenses the food. Simple? No. The button that dispenses the food is wireless and works up to 40 meters away from the dispenser!
This means that once you train your dog to “paw” the button, you can essentially make this either the easiest or hardest puzzle toy in the world!
Want to make it easy? Have the button in the same room as the dispenser.
Want to make it hard? Move the button to another room.
Want to make it fiendishly difficult? Add another layer of cause and effect and train your dog to perform another task in order to get at the dispenser!
For the amount of ways you can use this, this is pretty a pretty inexpensive puzzle toy!
You can buy the Trixie Memory Trainer from Amazon.
Bonus: free puzzle toy you can make right now!
Maybe you’re not in the market to buy a puzzle toy right this second. Or maybe you’ve ordered a puzzle toy for your dog and you can’t wait for it to arrive.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Check out this brilliant tutorial on how to make your very own puzzle toy for your pooch right now!